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The Aztec Diet: Chia Power: The Superfood that Gets You Skinny and Keeps You Healthy

The Aztec Diet: Chia Power: The Superfood that Gets You Skinny and Keeps You Healthy

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The Aztec Diet: Chia Power: The Superfood that Gets You Skinny and Keeps You Healthy

398 pagine
3 ore
Feb 12, 2013


Chia Power can make you skinny, strong, and healthy

The Aztecs cultivated the world's most nutritious foods, which provided them with the strength to build one of civilization's greatest empires. The key to the astounding fitness and energy levels of the Aztec warriors? The miracle superfood: chia. Already fueling endurance athletes and distance runners like those featured in the bestselling book Born to Run, chia is quickly gaining popularity as the biggest diet breakthrough in years. Now, in The Aztec Diet, New York Times bestselling author Dr. Bob Arnot incorporates the eating habits of this mighty civilization into our modern-day lives to unlock the answer to lasting weight-loss success.

Follow The Aztec Diet's three-phase plan to lose weight quickly and effortlessly, improve overall health and wellness, end hunger cravings, and eliminate the exhaustion that accompanies blood-sugar spikes and drops.

  • Phase I jump-starts your weight loss, supercharging your metabolism with three chia smoothies per day.
  • Phase II keeps you satisfied, replacing the midday smoothie with a delicious and nutritious lunch to help avoid the all-too-familiar dieter's plateau.
  • Phase III maintains your target weight for good with a guide to smart food choices and healthful recipes to keep your mind and body in top form.

With simple, delicious recipes and countless ways to include the superfood benefits of chia in every meal, The Aztec Diet provides all the tools necessary to keep you motivated and on track as you begin the journey to a better, healthier you.

Feb 12, 2013

Informazioni sull'autore

Bob Arnot, M.D., is the New York Times bestselling author of fourteen books on nutrition and health. He has been a medical correspondent for NBC Nightly News, Dateline NBC, the Today show, CBS Evening News, 60 Minutes, and CBS This Morning, and is a health columnist for Men's Journal. He lives in Palm Beach, Florida, and Vermont.

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The Aztec Diet - Dr. Bob Arnot




How are you?"

Never better, I answer, every time I’m asked. I mean it. In all my years I’ve never felt better, looked leaner, worked more productively, or performed better at sports. Why? I’ve dropped the foods that have poisoned so many of us for so long and embraced the foods of the ancient Aztecs—foods that give me boundless energy, a bright mental attitude, and endless creativity. How is all this possible? With the Aztec Diet! By following the guidelines in this book, and the eating habits of a mighty ancient civilization, you will soon find yourself feeling the same.

The Aztec Diet will transform your body, health, mind, attitude, and life by harnessing the power of the ancient Aztec superfood chia, and eliminating the foods that wreak havoc on our systems: carb bombs (foods like bagels, pretzels, granola, pancakes, and enriched spaghetti, which jack up blood sugar and leave you ravenous when they plummet) and flame throwers (foods like white flour, white rice, and flour tortillas, which bring sky-high levels of inflammation into the body).

Two out of three Americans eat diets loaded with these dangerous foods. That means that you most likely eat foods every day that wreak havoc on blood sugar, weight, health, and mood! No wonder you’ve been having a hard time keeping your energy up while trying to diet! The blood of most people on a classic, carb-loaded Western diet has become a poisonous, angry stew of altered hormones and elevated blood fats, inflammation, cholesterol, and sugars. The carbs spike blood sugar to unmanageable highs; a nasty cycle ensues as the blood sugar level crashes, creating ravenous hunger for more carbs to boost blood sugar back up. This makes us feel fatigued and sluggish on a daily basis. Sound familiar? Eventually we get sick, suffering heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s, and death.

The incredibly great news, though, is that this cycle can be broken quickly and easily. As simple as it sounds, you can eradicate these dangers by changing the foods you eat with the Aztec Diet. You do not have to be fatigued. You do not have to be overweight. A skinnier, more energetic, healthier, and happier you is possible.

In this book we’ll teach you how to change the foods you eat by calling on one of the most successful civilizations in history. Eating the foods of the Aztecs, who for centuries dominated all of central Mexico, will:

      Kill your cravings

      Brighten your mood

      Supercharge your energy

      Melt the pounds away

You won’t have to use raw willpower or endure gnawing hunger. The Aztec foods will do the job of losing weight for you.

If you struggle to manage a high carb load, feeling light-headed, shaky, lethargic, and starved when your blood sugar comes crashing down, the Aztec Diet is for you. If you, like so many, have tried a million diets and still have trouble controlling your weight, the Aztec Diet is for you. Give your body a break. Give yourself a break. You haven’t failed at dieting, the foods you eat have failed you, and your key to success is in the following pages.

Too good to be true? Not at all. In fact, we have centuries of proof that the Aztec diet works effectively:

      Aztec foods are the healthiest foods on the planet and fueled one of the most powerful empires in history. They include beans, corn, turkey, fish, vegetables, fruit, and super grains such as amaranth, bulgar, quinoa, and one that you may never have heard of but will change your life: chia. Substituting these foods for high-carb, high-sugar, high-fat foods will quickly render you the leanest, fittest, and most energetic you’ve ever been.

      AD foods are filling and taste great! The foods in this diet are packed with nutrients and can radically change your metabolism. Most so-called diet foods have little flavor and are only marginally healthier than the foods that make us fat. You don’t have to sacrifice taste to lose weight.

      The AD is simple so you can sustain it anywhere, anytime without complicated meal plans, calorie counting, or prepared meals or bars. At the diet’s most basic level, there is a simple morning smoothie and a few basic substitutions to your current diet. I lead a fast life on the run and have no time for complex shopping lists or food preparation. I prepare my breakfast smoothie, which is rich in every imaginable nutrient, in fewer than 60 seconds. Time is one of the biggest roadblocks to eating well, so one of the major breakthroughs of the AD is that it turns great food into fast food.

      Losing weight on the AD happens quickly and effectively, preventing the feelings of frustration or failure that cause people to abandon healthy eating. With a kick-start to your weight loss, you’ll be incredibly pleased with your progress and much more likely to keep going.

      With Aztec foods at the core of your diet, you can reward yourself with treats so you don’t feel deprived. You can splurge when you want and return to this core when you’re tired, you’ve gained a few pounds, or you’re just feeling unhealthy. You’ll be amazed at how easily you can recover from weddings, holidays, and vacations. Now you can enjoy those events without the guilty dieter’s mentality, knowing that returning to the Aztec foods will quickly get you back to fighting weight.


As a physician, author, fitness enthusiast, endurance athlete, and medical journalist, I’ve always had an eye out for the next big nutritional breakthrough. In working as a medical correspondent for Dateline, the Today show, the NBC Nightly News, CBS This Morning, and the CBS Evening News, I discovered that nutrition stories make the most interesting news because they are so immediately actionable and have such a big impact on our lives. I can tell you, however, that true breakthroughs don’t happen often. Diet books, superfoods, and supplements offer new hope, then fizzle fast.

So, when a great friend, Lizzie Hinckley, said she had a miracle food product, I politely put her off. Lizzie’s an amazing ski racer, sailor, and horsewoman. During winters in Stowe, Vermont, we’d ski downhills against each other. Side by side we’d hit 50 miles per hour racing to get to the bottom first. It was pure, terrifying exhilaration. In the summer we’d pit our endurance against each other on epic 70-mile bike rides. With a staggering power-to-weight ratio, Lizzie climbed like a gazelle, while I struggled to keep her in sight.

One day in late February 2010, after a downhill on Mount Mansfield’s Hayride racing trail, Lizzie shared her secret. She dropped a shiny bag onto the backseat of my motorcycle. I left it out in the snow for days. She kept texting me: Did you try it? I finally took the bag off my prized Ducati racing bike, dusted off the snow, and went straight to the FDA nutrition label on the back of the package. No. Could it be true? Five grams of fiber in just 70 calories? The rest of the ingredient list read like a bestseller. I could hardly believe that so many nutrients could be packed into just one food.

I logged on to the Internet to read about chia. Gram for gram, it outperforms all of the world’s healthiest foods. Chia has:

      8 times more omega-3s than Atlantic farmed salmon, the most in any whole food

      6 times more calcium than milk

      3 times more iron than spinach

      2 times more fiber than bran flakes

      15 times more magnesium than broccoli

      4 times more selenium than flax

I’ve always been a fan of supergrains. I eat whole-grain breads and the highest-fiber cereals; I love quinoa and amaranth, the golden grains of the Aztecs. But chia? I’d never heard of it. After a quick Google search I was mesmerized.

The chia story began in 2500 B.C., but the little seed later acquired its fame from the Aztec warriors. The Aztecs cultivated amazing foods that gave them the strength and energy to build one of civilization’s great empires. One of those was a super seed called chia. Corn, chia, and beans were the Aztecs’ three staple foods. But it was chia alone, which they called the running food, that sustained Aztec warriors during their long journeys and frequent battles. When wounded in battle or on hunting expeditions, the Aztecs packed their wounds with this miracle seed to help fight infection. Chia was so fundamental to the Aztecs’ success and beliefs that the Spanish burned the vast chia production fields as part of their campaign to destroy the Aztec civilization. This agricultural annihilation, the Europeans’ superior fire power, and the diseases they carried proved too much for the Aztecs, who vanished into the mists of time.

After the Spanish defeated the Aztecs, chia grew wild in the American West and Mexico, but disappeared from large-scale agricultural production and was largely forgotten. That’s why you may have heard of supergrains like quinoa or amaranth, but not chia. Native Americans grew and ate chia for hundreds of years after the Spanish destroyed the chia fields. These hardy warriors found that chia provided so much energy that they could run messages all the way from the Colorado River to the Pacific Ocean, or spend days hunting on foot with no more than chia to eat, often just two spoonfuls per day. They crossed deserts in extreme heat with little water or food, except chia. Edward Palmer, in his botanical travels over deserts and through Mexico, wrote in 1891 that chia was one of the best relished and most nutritive foods. Today, superathletes use chia as a fuel for grueling long-distance bike races and professional sports.

Chia regained some popularity in the 1960s in California health food stores. Food scientist Dr. Al Bushway bought his first chia in 1978 and has studied it at the University of Maine in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition since the early 1980s. Agricultural production only began to scale up again in 2005. It wasn’t until the last few years that a serious effort was put into scientific study of chia’s benefits, and not until the spring of 2010 that its remarkable effect on weight loss began to emerge. Awareness of the little seeds got a big boost in 2009 with the publication of Christopher McDougall’s book, Born to Run, which put most endurance athletes in awe of the Tarahumara Indians from Mexico’s Copper Canyon. They ran staggering distances, up to 200 miles in one session, with the ease that most of us use to cross our living rooms, eating little but chia.

I was sold based on the nutritional benefits but dreaded the taste test. I poured ground chia onto my cereal. No taste at all! Then I tried it in water. The ground seeds expanded and softened in the liquid but, again, no real taste. In almond milk, the ground chia added a pleasant texture. It is such a great mixer that it was easy to incorporate into my diet. For a similar nutrient value I could eat ten bowls of brussels sprouts, cauliflower, spinach, or broccoli—or four scoops of chia. What a no-brainer! What an incredibly easy way to pack in nutrients and lose weight without consuming massive amounts of vegetables!

Chia is easy to add to your diet and needs little preparation. If you buy whole seeds you should grind them in a coffee-bean or other grinder, as whole seeds tend to pass through the digestive system, and eat them right away so they don’t go rancid. We recommend buying ground or micro-sliced chia, the best of which won’t go rancid and can be added directly to foods and drinks, sprinkled and stirred right in. Chia is most effective when hydrated, so adding it to liquids (especially smoothies!) is the best way to go. Consider investing in a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix to make your smoothies. For more on these, see page 34.

I turned next to my own nutritional challenge. I had been stuck at 208 pounds for five years and was as heavy as 225 when my wife was pregnant with our first son. No matter how hard I tried, no matter how much I starved myself or how much I exercised, the best I could do was to hit 203, only to bounce back up to 208. I’d tried all the diets: Atkins, South Beach, Zone, you name it. Part of the problem was that I was pretty fit and just couldn’t lose those last 15 pounds. I knew that if I could stop eating in the late afternoon I could lose a pound per day with all the exercise I do, but I just couldn’t stand the brain-drain from low blood sugar, and the hunger pangs would drive me to raid the fridge in the evenings. Chia changed everything. I ate a scoop at 3:00 P.M. At midnight I had eaten nothing else. How could it be?

      No hunger pangs

      No loss of brain energy

      No shaky feeling of low blood sugar

I was stunned. Then I started to look at the scale. Every day that I wanted to, I lost a pound. In fact, I had to hold myself back from losing too much weight too quickly. When I added up the calories, I was eating only 800 a day. Too little. I had to back off the chia so I’d lose weight more slowly. But the scale still amazed me: 204, 203, 202, 201, 200. Two hundred? I hadn’t been there in twenty years. Then my weight started to plummet: 198, 196, 194, 192. I was a different person metabolically and physically. As an avid amateur bike racer, I had never raced faster. I was beating kids in their twenties. I could do things like lunges, which I hadn’t done since junior high! I felt fantastic. At 188 pounds I was healthy and lean and stunned at the effectiveness of chia.

Chia didn’t only help me drop pounds. It gave me an enormous sense of calm and quiet energy. It allowed me to work long hours each day and preserve intense energy for killer workouts on cross-country skis, downhill racing skis, bikes, and paddleboards. It also gave me self-control. Two years ago I approached dinner buffets like a vacuum cleaner. Now I walk into dinners fearlessly, knowing that I can pick at them like a fussy kid.

Eager to share chia’s incredible benefits, I created a diet with this grain as its cornerstone. It may seem odd to focus a diet on a single food, but chia is so nutritious and so filling that it’s an unparalleled powerhouse. Chia serves as a gateway food, demonstrating just how powerful one food can be, then lures dieters into making other spectacular choices.

Phase One of the Aztec Diet, which consists of three chia smoothies a day plus snacks, launches a total metabolic breakthrough.

In Phase Two, you can accelerate your weight loss by adding a well-chosen lunch to fuel your transformed metabolism.

Phase Three returns to regular meals consisting of the healthiest premium foods on earth, primarily foods of the Aztecs.

Finally, there is advice for recovery when (not if) you give in to the urge to splurge. We all do it. To expect it and have a plan for recovery makes all the difference. I can hardly wait to go back on the Aztec Diet after big dietary indulgences. I recently came back from a trip to the Middle East and Africa the heaviest I’d been since first beginning the Aztec Diet. I was up to 203.8 pounds by the time I got home, but within a week I was at 198.2 pounds. Within three weeks I was back at 189 pounds.

The Aztec Diet is the culmination of my lifelong, worldwide search for the very best foods and the most effective diet of all time. We’ve done the homework for you. We’ve ranked foods according to their carb loads (the lower the better!) and other important nutritional information; we offer meal suggestions, recipes, and strategies for sound sleep, exercise, and coping with tough situations. This time, losing weight will be easy, and it will stay off!


Most of you reading this book have weight to lose. All of you probably suffer from fatigue and could use a big boost in energy. You fight cravings for foods that only make matters worse. Whether you realize it or not, your bodies suffer from unnecessary inflammation, causing pain and threatening illness.

Use this book to feel better. The next chapter will explain in detail why the Aztec Diet works. After that, the book will guide you through losing weight, eliminating cravings, calming inflammation, increasing energy, and learning healthy eating habits you can use for the rest of your life.

Part I will help you change your metabolism and guide you through fast, effective weight loss with a diet of three chia smoothies each day.

Part II will replace the midday smoothie with a carefully chosen lunch to propel you past the classic dieters’ plateau. You’ll fuel your body for productive afternoons, making exercise a true pleasure.

Part III is your guide for making smart, nutritious food choices for the rest of your life. You’ll learn how to select foods, gather new recipes, and garner tips on sleeping well and incorporating exercise into your life.

Much more than a weight-loss plan, this book will teach you how to feel the best you ever have in

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